This is a guest post by Evey.
“It is a melancholy object to those who walk through th[ese] great town[s] or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with” gun-toting men clad in denim and stars and bars, sometimes with one, two, three or more types of guns proudly displayed on their bodies. These men, instead of being able to express themselves in a rational and non-aggressive manner, have been left NO choice but to stand threateningly in a Walmart produce section to show those oranges, bananas, and everyone else around, that they are not fucking around. They MUST purchase a burrito at Qdoba armed with semi-automatic weapons, to show everyone how brave they are. Afterwards continuing to get lost in a universe pretending to be soldier in a war that has long-since been lost.
Indeed, “I think it is agreed by all parties that th[e] prodigious” amount of gun violence facing the country is “a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these” gun-toting members of society into “useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the public as to have [their] statue set up for a preserver of the nation.”
As for me I have been thinking of this very practical solution to our little problem for some time. It was 1999 when I first remember a national encounter with men with guns. Now these particular overly-emotional armed men were young members of the species, but even with the relative inexperience of youth they managed to successfully shoot up a high school and murder 13 of their classmates and teachers. Again I had an opportunity to think of my modest-er proposal later in 1999 when Mark Barton killed 12 people, and then in 1999 again when Larry Ashbrook murder 7 teens at a Christian rock concert. In 2000 I would be blessed to have more opportunity to search for a solution with Micahel McDermott killed 7 people. Another opportunity in 2003 with Doug Williams shot and killed 14 of his fellow work mates. Still another chance in 2005 when Terry Razmann killed 9, and Kyle Huff killed 7. Or 2006 when Charles Roberts murdered Amish children. Or 2007 at Virginia Tech where Seung-Hui Choi murdered 32, and later that same year when Robert Hawkins murdered 9. In 2008 we had yet another chance to consider change when Steven Kazmierczak willed 6 at Norther Illinois University. We didn’t do anything then, but had more chances to consider a solution in 2009 at the hands of Robert Stewart, Jiverly Wong, and Nidal Hasan in 3 separate incidents that left 34 dead. Omar Thorton gave us pause again in 2010 after murdering 9. Jared Loughner opened fire at a congressional rally killing 6, and injuring a sitting Congresswoman [As an aside, dear reader, if you thought having one of their own shot in the head would rally Congress, sadly, you’d be wrong.] 2012 was a banner year for murderous gun-toting men with dead bodies laying in the wake of TJ Lan, One L Goh, Ian Stawicki, James Holmes, Wade Page, Andrew Engelinger, and on December 14 I was forced once again to ponder a solution when Adam Lanza murdered 20 six and seven-year-old children, who I’m sure tried to get small before he executed them, Senator Thune.
I could keep going, but I worry I may lose you before we get to the solution, so I’ll skip to the tragedies in Orlando and Las Vegas. Orlando had the honor of being the deadliest mass shooting in modern history for approximately 16 months before an angry man with a gun murdered 59 and injured 500 at a country music festival. I have also considered the pervasive gang violence, as in Chicago, and many other places, and the role guns play there, since that is the party line about not needing gun control. Overwhelmingly this violence comes from men as well. They’ve grown up with the notion that aggression and anger are positive masculine traits. That without those testosterone-fueled rages, they are less. We’ve let you slide with violence—physical, emotional, sexual, and we’ve enabled you for too long. We’ve looked the other way as you’ve abused your girlfriends and wives (a trait that links mass shooters). We’ve convinced ourselves that it is not our business, or we have ourselves benefited from the systems that protects men. Men lack meaningful emotional relationships with other men because people may question your sexuality, and complain of the ‘friendzone’ with women. Men are isolated and alone, and humans are not meant to thrive in those conditions and too many of you are dying. Too many of you are using guns and violence as a first line of defense, almost like an aggressive contraception method to prevent anyone from questioning your masculinity. As such, we must now think of the greater good, as this violent culture has clearly become a burden to this great union of states.
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that we allow every single adult who wants a gun to purchase as many guns, and as many kinds of guns, as they want—immediately after we transform the entire country into women.
Let me explain. The NRA is right. The epidemic of violence polluting our country is not guns, but they are wrong when they say the problem IS mental illness—not that anyone wants to talk about comprehensive healthcare as a way to help people with mental illnesses, but it’s SUCH a great talking point when you’re trying to dodge a proverbial bullet—see what I did there? But I digress. People with mental illnesses are far more likely to be victims of violent crimes than perpetrators of them. So, if it’s not guns, and it’s not mental illness, what is it? I’m glad you asked. The problem is men. Don’t get overly emotional on me now, I do hate it when you shout and carry on in a way that suggests your hormones have overcome your rationality. Hear me out. Women are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness, and yet men account for 98% of all mass shootings. 98 percent. Add to that the statistics on men being the majority of perpetrators of gun homicides, victims of suicide by guns, and assaults with guns, and I think the situation becomes clear. Not guns, not mental illness. Men.
Don’t worry after extensive environmental and biological reprogramming, you will be armed with your favorite bump-stock converted semi-automatic weapon. You will be armed in any public library or park. You will be armed in schools, and churches, and bars because alcohol and booze—what could go wrong. But you will not be armed with male-driven, anger, violence, difficulty connecting, a need for dominance and control, and of course a y chromosome and the physical traits that may come with it (I mean a penis). You will not use your gun to threaten a loved one. You will not use your gun as a means to feel safer while actually putting yourself and others at greater risk. You will not use your gun in the commission of robberies, or rapes. You will leave behind your unfortunate upbringing from this unfortunate place where through popular culture, and conditioning, you have learned that violence and masculinity are interconnected and virtuous. You will unlearn the toxic idea tells boys who are not hyper-aggressive that they are not men. You will overcome your biology by becoming something else entirely.
Perhaps this seems a radical solution, but alas, men with guns have become too dangerous to ignore. And as the shootings mass, and otherwise continue to occur, and as the proposals and actions of a desperate people fall on the ears of a Congress which have long since been left deaf to the sound of Bradbury’s thunder, it becomes necessary to plan and enact our own modest-er proposal.